AmeriFlux Data Embargo Policy



Some sites may feel the need to have their flux/met data submitted to AmeriFlux but not released publicly for a period of time (embargo). Reasons for embargo vary. One example is newly registered sites that need a headstart on publishing data in a research paper (important for grad students or other reasons), while at the same time availing themselves of AmeriFlux QA/QC services.

Benefits to AmeriFlux

  • Early identification of measurement issues that will ensure improved data quality once data is ready to be published in BASE, potentially increasing number of site years with good data
  • Early engagement of new site teams in AmeriFlux

Benefits to the Site Team

  • Join the coalition of willing and increase opportunities for collaboration
  • Early identification of measurement issues that will ensure improved future data quality
  • Receive AmeriFlux QA/QC feedback, which can facilitate publishing research using the data

Policy Details

Sites that have never published data with AmeriFlux are eligible to request that their data are embargoed for a limited period. Embargo is not automatic and must be requested. In addition, for sites that have previously published data with AmeriFlux, requests to submit data for QA/QC assessment without publication (i.e. an embargo) will be considered in specific cases. Sites that have new or novel instrument installations may request an embargo but in most cases we will recommend that site teams submit data for publication without variables from the novel instrumentation and then later resubmit with the novel data.

Under this policy, AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP) will:

  • Accept FP-In formated data for registered sites
  • Perform automated issue detection and QA/QC, which includes:
    • Format QA/QC: compliance with FP-In format
    • Automated Data QA/QC plot generation
  • May perform manual quality assessment at AMP discretion, including:
    • Expert QA/QC interpretation and guidance
  • Publish the data as the BASE data product if they pass QA/QC after 2 years, or earlier at the PI’s request

Under this policy, AMP will not:

  • Provide gap-filled meteorological data or partitioned flux data using ONEFlux processing codes
  • Guarantee AMP services at the same level as sites who are not embargoing their data. Sites electing embargo will be eligible for services, but priority will be discretionary


Time period

There is a fixed time period of two years for embargo. The clock starts when data have completed QA/QC and are deemed publishable.

How to request embargo

Embargo is not automatic and must be requested explicitly by emailing the AMP Team at Site teams should wait to submit data until they have received confirmation from AMP that their embargo request is approved.

Embargo requests must be sent by the Site PI. In your email request, please give:

  • Site ID and Site name
  • If data for the site have not been published as AmeriFlux BASE or submitted to AMP in the past, please tell us when flux observations started
  • Explain the reason for your embargo request
  • Use email subject line: “Embargo request for XX-xxx” where X’s are Site ID